Assumptions about Communication/Cool Hand Luke

Gerald van Koeverden gvk at
Sun Feb 25 19:28:00 UTC 2001


 You are partly correct.  There are always negative feelings associated with a
successful commercial, but there are also postive feelings.  It is the mix of
these two in how the viewer interprets them that determines whether the commercial
is successful or not, in whether it induces positive (buying) or negative
(cynicism) responses.

For example, an advertisement on Caribean cruises might first focus on evoking
negative feelings, eg. a sense of jealousy on the part of the viewer.  The viewer
is trapped between his feelings of vicariously enjoying the cruise and his
realization that he or she can't afford it or the time.  Then the ad by
advertising cheap rates for short cruises gives him or her a way of being able to
do it, and overcome this chasm between fanatsy and reality.

Sales pitches for cruises and arguments by mothers to get their children to brush
their teeth, work on the same principles.


Suzette Haden Elgin wrote:

> Gerald van Koeverden wrote:
> "It's the same in commercials.  The advertiser tries to associate some postive
> feelings or reinforcement with the product he is selling.  When this
> results in a
> purchaser buying the product, we say that that communication was successful.
> However, if the viewer rejects that association of those particular
> feelings with
> that product, we say that the communication has failed."
> It seems to me that if commercials are to be part of this discussion we
> would need to consider the evidence -- which tells us that when commercials
> establish positive feelings people often remember the commercial but not
> the name of the product it was selling or the company/brand responsible. By
> contrast, when commercials establish negative feelings -- including disgust
> or repulsion -- they almost always remember the product's
> name/brand/company, and it's well established that this leads to higher
> sales. In terms of "success" or "failure" of the communication, this sets
> advertising communication significantly apart from most other human
> language interactions. Mingling the two forms is likely to lead to
> substantial confusion.
> Suzette Haden Elgin

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